President Trump on Tuesday began his morning—on the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks—by tweeting a defense of himself in the Russia investigation.
Not long after, he retweeted a post that showed himself marking the most devastating day in modern U.S. history, adding #NeverForget #September11th.
He also used the somber occasion to praise Rudy Giuliani, his personal attorney in the Russia and obstruction-of-justice investigation, posting that he “did a GREAT job as Mayor of NYC during the period of September 11th. His leadership, bravery and skill must never be forgotten. Rudy is a TRUE WARRIOR!”
It wasn’t entirely unexpected that the man with a history of ill-advised tweets about 9/11 made notable additions to it on this year’s national day of remembrance.
Hours later, Trump attended a ceremony in western Pennsylvania to honor the attack’s Flight 93 victims. More than 3,000 people died in coordinated strikes on the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and in a field in Shanksville, where 40 passengers and crew aboard a hijacked United Airlines flight thwarted what was believed to be an attempt to hit the U.S. Capitol or the White House.
Trump the first lady paid their respects where the 93-foot Tower of Voices memorial was dedicated Sunday.
“A piece of America's heart is buried on these grounds,” Trump told guests at the memorial service. “This field is now a monument to American defiance. This memorial is a message to the world: America will never, ever, submit to tyranny.”
“We will remember that free people are never at the mercy of evil because our destiny is always in our hands. America's future is not written by our enemies. America's future is written by our heroes,” he added.
In the past, Trump’s remarks about the nation’s worst terror attack have ranged from awkward in tone to downright offensive. Like when he used the occasion to go after longtime foe Rosie O’Donnell on Twitter.
Even off Twitter, the president has a reputation of trying to make 9/11 all about himself, including by bragging within hours of the attack about how his building was going to become the tallest in Lower Manhattan.
Among his proven lies about the day, Trump has claimed that he donated money to the search and recovery cause—and that he “lost hundreds of friends” at the World Trade Center, though he has not been able to name a single one.
From Air Force One on Tuesday, Trump ended his initial early-morning run with a strangely jovial note about the day that launched the War on Terror: “17 years since September 11th!”
Minutes later, he was shown arriving in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, biting his lower lip with his fists raised in what appeared to be a celebration.